Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dragonfly Restaurant & Curacao Blues -- Corpus Christi, TX

The Dragonfly Restaurant, located across the JFK bridge on Padre Island, at 14701 S Padre Island Dr,(361-949-2224) has been a favorite of ours for some time. Not to say that they don't have their off days, but those are rare. This particular night they were spot on. We like to eat early -- to avoid traffic and crowds -- so we arrived just a few minutes after 5:00 p.m., which is opening time for dinner. Of course, we were seated promptly.

Our waiter, Romeo, introduced himself and recited the special, which sounded wonderful -- Grilled Tuna Steak with a Garlic Potato Flash. We ordered our wine, and kept the special in mind as we looked through the menu. The dinner menu is divided in two sections -- World Tour by Land which features beef, pork, lamb and chicken dishes of various countries, and World Tour by Sea, featuring, you guessed it, seafood dishes from around the world. We opted for our favorite menu items. For Rob, the Shrimp Skewer with Coconut Sambal Sauce (Malaysia -- $19.95), and I ordered the Crab Cake with Remoulade (USA -- $18.95)
Curacao Blues, the bar, as you enter Dragonfly
Rob's shrimp were tender, smoky and flavorful. Topped with a spicy Coconut Sambal Sauce, the one bite I got of these plump, juicy critters made my mouth very happy. The Coconut Peanut rice contrasts the shrimp with a light, delicate, but distinct coconut infusion with bits of peanuts scattered throughout. The Sweet Potato Plantain cake rounded out the dish. It is deep fried creating a not quite crispy shell around a creamy sweet center. And, as if that's not enough, a healthy salad of mixed greens, dressed with a Soy Honey Sauce creates a beautiful bed on which to display the shrimp. Delicious!

My plate held two 6 oz. Crab Cakes with the remoulade on the side. The crab cakes at Dragonfly are made a little differently than what I've had in other places. First you don't get lumps of crab mixed with filler. It seems as though the crab is blended with  the spices and accompaning flavors, then pan fried. They have a more creamy consistancy than most crab cakes I've had. Now, if someone said to me, "try this crab cake, it has a creamy consistancy," I probably would have turned them down, but trust me on this, they are so good! Crab is the main flavor you get with the other flavors complimenting and submiting to the crab in a most pleasant way. The romoulade is tangy nice, but little goes a long way and could easily overpower the crab cakes. Maybe that's why it's served on the side.  And as good as the crab cakes are, they are served resting on a bed of the best french fries that I have ever tasted. These fries are so good that I refuse to ruin them by putting ketchup on them! I literally told the waiter, "no," when he offered it. These fries aren't flavored or exotic in any way. They are normal fries from normal potatoes fried, in I don't know what kind of oil, to perfection. They are not greasy, yet crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, seasoned with just enough salt. Think original McDonalds fries, but oh so much better. (I would make the trip to Dragonfly just for the fries!) I also had a salad of mixed greens, but mine was dressed with a Garlic Vinaigrette, which was similar to a Caesar dressing, but with a little more punch. Great meal!

Spicy Jalapeno Martini
While we waited for our food to arrive, Rob noticed the signature drink menu and the Spicy Jalapeno Martini caught his eye. So, rather than have dessert, we ordered one of those. This is a tequila drink that is a little bit reminiscent of a margarita without the salt. It's sweet and spicy, but not too spicy, with a slice of pickled jalapeno in the bottom. Of course the closer you get to the bottom, the spicier it gets! We thought it was a great end to our dinner.

As I've mentioned, Dragonfly is a favorite, and although the food is consistantly good, this night's dinner was better than usual. We always recommend Dragonfly. It's worth the drive out to the Island. You can view their menu and even order online at Several items, such as their soups, wing sauces and salad dressings are packaged and available for sale.

Oh, and so sorry there are no pictures of our plates. We dove in before we thought about pictures. It was that good, but you can find plenty of pictures on the website gallery, and yes, the food really looks like that!